As part of our delivery of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), we are launching a mentoring programme to match Student Ambassadors from member HEIs with learners in our NCOP partner schools. The programme aims to complement our programme of activities with learners and give the young people taking part a more personalised insight into higher education direct from current students themselves.
Mentors participating in the programme will work with learners in small groups and lead activity sessions covering themes embedded in our NCOP programme of delivery such as improving school attainment and study skills, increasing knowledge of higher education and pathways into it, as well as raising aspirations for the future.
Earlier this month, to kick start the programme, Student Ambassadors from 6 AccessHE member HEIs came together in central London to take part in a special training workshop to become the first cohort of AccessHE London NCOP mentors!
The workshop, led by mentoring expert Zoe Pither from the University of Bristol’s Widening Participation team, gave prospective mentors the chance to gain an insight into the areas we are working in and to develop the skills they’ll need to go into schools and run mentoring sessions with our NCOP learners.
In what was a lively workshop, the Student Ambassadors learned about skills needed for mentoring, such as active listening and using positive language, alongside other practicalities such as how to plan a mentoring session. At the end, the Ambassadors got to put it all into practice, albeit amongst themselves in role playing activities.
The workshop was great fun to be a part of and there was a palpable buzz coming from the Student Ambassadors who took part. We are now working to get our newly trained mentors into our partner schools in the New Year so that they can support our NCOP learners on their own journeys.
We are hoping to run another training session for prospective mentors in January. If you know of a Student Ambassador who would like to be part of our mentoring programme or just want to find out more, please contact Naz Khan at firstname.lastname@example.org.